Festivus for the Rest of Us!
Do you celebrate Festivus? Amazingly, Festivus has become “almost” a real holiday in terms of celebration, rituals, and public following. This holiday is all Seinfeld. Festivus is not only quirky, but it’s fun too—just like the show itself.
This secular holiday was co-created by Seinfeld’s Daniel O’Keefe, who was a lead screenwriter for the popular series. Festivus began as a storyline but soon developed into one of the great holiday season celebrations. As described by Frank Costanza, Festivus is “for the rest of us” meaning it is a secular celebration of the holiday season without any forbearance on religion, commercialism, or gift-buying.
Did you know the Festivus holiday was actually real? Daniel O’Keefe’s father, Dan O’Keefe was the creator of this fun celebration!
When is Festivus?
Festivus is celebrated on December 23. We first hear about Festivus when Frank Costanza tells Kramer of how he celebrates the holiday as an alternative to traditional, commercialized celebrations such as Christmas.
Frank Costanza: Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.
Kramer: What happened to the doll?
Frank Costanza: It was destroyed. But out of that a new holiday was born: a Festivus for the rest of us!
The Festivus traditions
Just like any other holiday celebration, Festivus follows a prescribed series of traditions that are unique and quite liberating.
The Festivus Pole
The Festivus Pole is a tradition that began with an aluminum pole. In this tradition, the pole is simply displayed without any accompanying decoration or fluff. It is a simple pole that represents the holiday.
The Festivus Dinner
Like any good celebration, The Festivus Dinner is a tradition that features Feats of Strength and Airing of Grievances thereafter. Normally, as shown in Seinfeld, a meatloaf creation is served.
Airing of Grievances
This is the first tradition to accompany Festivus. The Airing of Grievances follows the ceremonial dinner, where each person is able to share with any other person where they feel they’ve been wronged during the current year. While highly masochistic, it’s still an essential if not mood-ruining part of Festivus.
Frank Costanza: The tradition of Festivus begins with the Airing of Grievances. I got a lot of problems with you people! And now, you're gonna hear about it. You, Kruger. My son tells me your company stinks! You couldn't smooth a silk sheet if you had a hot date with a babe...I lost my train of thought.
Feats of Strength
In this final ceremonial stage, Feats of Strength is a breaking-down of authoritative household power by none other than wrestling. In this concluding tradition, the head of the household selects any person he or she chooses and must wrestle them to the floor to end the bountiful celebration. However, the selected person may decline in the event of extenuating circumstances (broken leg, double shift at work, an uneasy tummy).
How to Create your Own Festivus!
Need some creative tips on how to celebrate Festivus at home? Here are three good tips to get started.
Tip #1: Get your Festivus Pole
Not sure of where to find a Festivus pole? Look no other than to your local pool supply store. There you will find a great selection of aluminum poles that work well for your own Festivus Pole celebration.
Tip #2: Create the perfect Festivus Dinner
Haven’t perfected that perfect meatloaf recipe? Well, here’s your opportunity to really dazzle your Festivus guests with the best meatloaf recipe you’ve ever created. Try adding a little ketchup in your recipe—it’s a crowd favorite, always.
Tip #3: Pick your Grievances
Spend a little time sorting through your wrongs and make sure you’ve got some mind-clearing, soul-scrubbing grievances lined up. You do not want to miss out on your one opportunity to air out when you’ve been crossed. Now is the time. Write your list now! Even better, keep track of foul behavior throughout the year and have a mega list ready in December.